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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

‘Red Hot’ Idea VII for Building Your Own Customer Nurture Program

 
Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe went over a great idea for building a Customer Nurture Program. This week? The tribe discusses using a broadcast e-mail program to nurture customers and prospects. Remember, fire = print.

Red Hot CNP Idea VII: Broadcast E-mail

“Today, let’s talk about how FEI can reach key business influencers via broadcast O-mail,” Marka said.
 
“O-mail!” Zoot cried. “Everyone gets too much O-mail already.”

“That means we need to cut through the O-mail clutter,” Marka lectured. “If we can navigate our brand through the overcrowded, choppy sea of O-mail marketing, we’ll be rewarded with riches at the end. Just like Odysseus was.”

“I don’t remember Odysseus getting any riches,” Zoot objected.

“Doesn’t matter. Anyway—broadcast O-mail is cheap!”

Numo came to attention. “Hmm? How cheap?”

“Once the e-mail program is set up, it’ll cost grape leaves to distribute our message to 100, 1,000 or 10,000 e-mail addresses as frequently as we’d like,” Marka answered. “One possible issue—How do we collect the addresses? List services are dubious, and we absolutely don’t want to S-P-A-M anyone.”

Zoot rubbed his chin, which was growing hairy with a burgeoning beard. “This is where my sales group could come in handy. Every few months, each member of my team visits hundreds of companies. We could require every sales call to add e-mail addresses of appropriate key business influencers. Before long, we’ll have an excellent opt-in O-mail list, easily segmented as appropriate.”

“We want to reach any and all key business influencers who fall anywhere in the chain of decision making,” Marka noted. “Since our cost per O-mail touch is so low, it doesn’t hurt to broadcast our message to as many people as possible, as long as there’s a legitimate reason to contact them.”

Zoot wrinkled his brow. “Can a broadcast O-mail program provide me with solid lead-generating information?”

“Yes. With a well-constructed trackable broadcast O-mail program, recipients will telegraph their exact interest based on their ‘click through’ activity, which we’ll monitor and follow up upon as needed,” Marka explained

“How?” asked Zoot.

“Each O-mail will contain links with imbedded tracking codes to our O-site’s individual product and service pages,” Marka continued. “’Influencers who ‘click-thru’ to pages for our torches, for example, may have just been ‘burned’—so to speak—by their current torch supplier and may represent a ‘red-hot’ buying opportunity.”

“One more fire pun and I’m walking,” Numo warned.

Zoot was confused. “So our O-mails will just be a bunch of links? Why would you expect anybody to click on those?”

“Hades, no, Zoot,” Marka exclaimed. “Our O-mails will lead with information. Every communication will have a different tip or hint. We’re going to teach people all the things they can do with fire...one bite at a time. Before long, FEI will be associated with useful information and expertise in the minds of important fire buyers.”

“Also,” she continued, “each O-mail will contain only a paragraph or two of information along with a snazzy photo. Then we’ll add a link that says something like, ‘Click HERE for the rest of Today’s Helpful Tip from FEI.’”

“That sounds like a lot of bother,” Zoot said.

“Not at all,” Marka energetically replied. “People don’t want their inbox flooded with long O-mails. They want a snapshot and an opportunity to take further action if they’re interested. Then, we capture the click-thru data and see how many people are interested.”

“Monitoring both sets of click-thru activities will allow us to form a more complete picture of future buyer behavior, right?” Zoot asked.

“You betcha, hairy buddy,” Marka said. “And we’ll be providing more leads than your staff can keep up with.”

Today’s Fire Point
The key ingredients of a successful broadcast e-mail program are self-developed opt-in lists, trackable click-thru links to specific products and services, and close integration with a company’s sales efforts. The best performing e-mail campaigns are often designed to look like useful information, but provide only a paragraph or two of teaser copy and a picture and a link that says something like, “Please click HERE to read the rest of this month’s helpful tip.” Monitoring this click-thru information will help you form a more complete picture of future buyer behavior and provide your sales people with specific, useful lead information.

FIRE! in Action
E-mail marketing works for Atlanta Thrashers during lockout

During the 2006 National Hockey League lockout, Thrashers season tickets holders received e-mails containing a personalized note from CEO Richard Mullin and free tickets to Hawks games. The e-mails generated a 40% click-thru rate and attendance increased by nearly 7% for the next season.

Next week: Another red-hot tip for building your own Customer Nurture Program.

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